Educational Psychology & Counseling Publications and Other Works


This Course is Helping Us All Arrive at New Viewpoints, Isn't It? Making Meaning Through Dialogue in a Blended Environment

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This qualitative study explores how individuals made meaning of their life history experiences while in dialogue with others in an online learning group that was part of a graduate course on adult development. All online discussion forum postings exchanged by the group over the 3-week assignment period were downloaded and analyzed through phenomenological thematic analysis and discourse analysis. Our goal was to better understand both what happened in this online dialogue and how it took place. Four aspects of how the participants made meaning through dialogue emerged: noticing, reinterpreting, theorizing, and questioning assumptions, each with specific speech acts. These findings expand our understandings of how individuals transform meaning through narrative and dialogue. The identification of specific aspects of meaning making and their related speech acts make a contribution to the literature on online dialogue, the power of restorying, critical reflection in public meaning making, and transformative group learning.

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